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Latex Allergies And Sex Toys

Latex Allergies And Sex Toys | Jo Divine

Statistics show that more than 6% of the general population have a latex/rubber allergy, rising to 10% in healthcare workers.

People who have a predisposition such as asthma, hay fever, eczema and food allergies are more likely to be at risk of developing a latex allergy. Healthcare workers, those working in rubber manufacturing and people who have undergone multiple surgical operations and invasive procedures are also more likely to be sensitive to latex.

It can be difficult to have fun and practice safe sex when you have latex allergies because many of the products we use to spice up our sex life (sex toys and bondage) or to make sex safer (condoms, gloves and oral dams) are often made from rubber.

However, there are many latex free sex toys available which are skin safe and hypo-allergenic.

Choosing a latex free sex toy

Many retailers of sex toys sell latex sex toys. Products may have been manufactured in a factory where the same mould is used for both latex and non latex sex toys. Many manufacturers do not sterilize the moulds between each run of producing the toys and latex particles can be left inside the mould. The latex can also be airborne and contaminate the non latex products. Often, this information is not stated on the packaging and you could be exposing yourself to risk of developing an allergic reaction.

It is really important to use a reputable manufacturer of sex toys who has a proven track record of producing high quality, well made products that are made from the material that is stated on the packaging.

Silicone sex toys can be more expensive than latex because it is more beneficial to health than latex and costs more to produce than latex.

Silicone sex toys have many benefits including:

  • They are non-porous, making them easier to clean. Latex is extremely porous, thus allowing bacteria to seep into the product making it difficult to clean. Many are waterproof, thus making cleaning them easy to carry out.
  • Silicone sex toys have a velvety soft feel and their pebble-smooth texture feels wonderful against the skin of your intimate parts of your body, unlike latex products which can feel sticky and unpleasant. Latex can also attract dust and dirt particles due to its sticky nature.
  • Silicone sex toys are hypo-allergenic so great for allergy sufferers
  • They do not contain phthalates. Phthalates are a family of chemicals used to soften hard plastics to make them more flexible. Derived from phthalic acid, phthalates have been used in everything from perfumes to pesticides and medical instruments, children’s toys and sex toys. Phthalates have now been banned in children’s toys because they pose some risk to health and reproduction. Phthalate molecules are not chemically bound to the plastics they soften and can easily break free, causing rubber and jelly toys to deteriorate over a period of time.

How can you tell if a sex toy contains phthalates?

Many reputable retailers of sex toys will not sell latex, rubber products or those which contain phthalates. Some packaging will state if the product is phthalate free.

Generally, the more rubbery a sex toy smells, the more phthalates it contains. If the product smells chemically strong when removed from the packaging, similar to the smell of a plastic shower curtain, it contains phthalates.

Sex toys made from silicone, glass, metal, acrylic/hard plastic do not contain phthalates.

Sex toy hygiene

Silicone sex toys can be cleaned with soap and water or cleaning sprays. It is important to clean your sex toy after use to avoid any bacterial growth.

Although silicone is very durable, it should only be used with water based or oil based lubricant, not silicone based lubricants which will damage the toy.

The quality of silicone sex toys is higher than that of rubber/latex products which can make them more expensive but from a health perspective, they are a much better and safer investment than a cheap rubber toy.

Some manufacturers such as LELO and Fun Factory only make 100% silicone sex toys. Larger manufacturers offer a line of silicone toys but it can be difficult to know what is really in them due to mass manufacturing in such factories.

So, when choosing a sex toy, buy a silicone, metal or glass toy from a reputable manufacturer or sex toy company to ensure that it is safe to use and will not trigger an allergic reaction. Good sex toy companies should be able to provide you with in depth information about their products. If they are unable to, shop elsewhere.

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